According to a study of the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examinations from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, only 47 percent of the assessable performance standards designated for the social studies were measured by the TerraNova test that was administered to eighth grade students in the years before the study. Based on this and other findings, this researcher believes that the Wisconsin Model Academic Standards and the Wisconsin Student Assessment System are not related as well as one would hope for them to be. Thus one could conclude that there may be many problems that come as result of this unpleasant correlation.
This is very disturbing to this researcher because the not only TerraNova tests based on factoids, but that it does not cover all of the assessable standards that were set forth by the Wisconsin Model Academic Standards. This researcher also sees that assessing a students progress based on a large-scale, paper-and-pencil based tests does not give an accurate picture of what a child knowledge base is at any given point in time because the TerraNova is almost completely based on knowing facts without being able to interpret them logically.
This researcher believes that if teachers should be held accountable for what their students are to learn that there would be some other type of assessment done that does not infringe on the creativity and the curiosity of the young mind. Also, this would allow teachers who are very innovative to allow some flexibility to what is cover in a course of the school year.
This researcher sees that the relationship between the Wisconsin Model Academic Standards and the Wisconsin Student Assessment System will cause many teachers to teach in a manner that prepares the student for taking a test rather that preparing them to being lifelong learners.